That just sucks, right? Is there anything he can’t do?
Well, maybe he’s a jerk.
A dear friend of mine was at an event a few years ago and approached TM (Note: Even his initials personify relaxed ease.) for a selfie because her teenager daughter had a massive crush on him and the photograph would make her year.
Yes, he obliged.
But not only that, he impishly followed it with:
Let’s call her!
At which point, the number was dialed, he got on the phone and they had a fun, cool and sassy conversation.
What’s next? Well, he doesn’t have an Oscar. Yet.
That is if you don’t count the Oscar that was stolen from him for his utterly raw and original performance in Call Me By Your Name by Gary Oldman for his mumbly, blustery portrayal of some weird version of Winston Churchill in the somewhat forgettable The Darkest Hour.
But that’s only my opinion.
Which is really the point.
See, I recount all of this not to anoint TM as any kind of creative Messiah, modern day personal deity, or even an individual incapable of having a bad day and being a jerk.
I mean, given the demands of being an A-list actor, he likely is not ideal relationship material (Note: Don’t worry, I have no stories).
Instead, I merely bring it up to state that the only way to happiness and success is:
You do you.
It may sound snide and corny but, sadly, so are a lot of phrases that are… true.
Don’t worry about how well Timmy or any of your other more successful than you friends and peers are doing.
It’s not a race, despite all appearances to the contrary in everything you see, hear and read.
We Americans in particular, and I unfortunately count myself among them, can’t resist a good competition. And we loooooove a scoreboard. Because it means in those moments we are out in front, everyone else is a looooooooooser.
But if you subscribe to that kind of logic the reverse is true. You’re a loser the moment you’re not in the #1 position out in front.
Which, if you consider all of the categories in life under which you could be rated, is most of the time.
The real task now is what do you do with the time at hand? Well —
What do you like to do? What are you good at? Who do you want to be around? Who makes you laugh? What do you want to get better at? Who believes in you when you don’t believe in yourself? And —
Who is smarter, more talented or simply wiser than you?
Go find those people, in whatever form they are available to you, and figure out what you can learn from them. Ask them questions, if possible. Better yet, ask yourself questions and then try to figure out the answers.
And here’s a hint: You likely won’t find the answers sitting alone in your room.
No one, not anyone, does life alone. That’s not the way it works. You need a core group of those you can trust, learn from and be your nutty self with. That’s how you get ahead and that’s how you discover and hone your talents.
I was watching Rainn Wilson, the Emmy award nominated actor from The Office, being interviewed while promoting his Peacock documentary series, Rainn Wilson and the Geography of Bliss.
Admitting he suffers from lifelong anxiety and depression that has taken him down some dark roads, the effort takes him around the world seeking to figure out the answer to happiness.
Spoiler alert: There is none.
But the one thing he noted that happy people have in common are that they are part of a community.
Yes, I rolled my eyes too. And I’m many decades past graduation. Until I realized that community doesn’t necessarily mean being a member of a church, community organization, political party or even your traditional family.
What it means is compiling your own group that helps to support you, advise you, tell you the truth, see you and yeah, love you.
Slow teardrop. (Note: Snide).
And know, none of this has to be said. You just feel it. (Note: Corny).
That’s the road to dealing with the world and achieving what you want. Which is not the necessarily the same thing as what you think it is right now.
Though it could be.
Yeah, you’re gonna make a ton of mistakes. You will hurt people you don’t mean to and be a real asshole to them and others at times.
Mistakes of all kinds are inevitable, messy and…welcome. Don’t beat yourself up for them.
Just do better.
Your crap and the crap will never end but neither does the good stuff. Focus on the latter and keep moving forward.
The 92nd Oscar nominations were reliably predictable. No, this year’s list of honorees cannot rightly be categorized as #OscarsSoWhiteStraightMale. But neither could the group even vaguely be considered #OscarsSoColorful, #OscarsSoInclusive or even #OscarsSoPurelyArtistic.
It does seem a bit quaint to even be discussing what Hollywood(Note: Whoever or whatever that is) deems deserving of its annual golden statuette when the world is falling apart around us but perhaps that’s the very reason to spend a bit of time on it. We all need a diversion or two, or twenty-three, and well, every year the Motion Picture Academy never fails to both come through AND simultaneously disappoint.
The Academy always comes through…
That said, it was interesting to see just how aware the Academy was of just how white the awards had the potential to be. You could tell by their choice of not one but two people of color – Issa Rae and John Cho – to announce the nominees to an international audience. That’s twice as many non-White people that were nominated in all four acting categories combined!
It’s a sad state that Green Book was more diverse
Meaning, Cynthia Erivo was the sole person of color to be singled out in an acting category this year for her lead performance as famed abolitionist Harriet Tubman in the fine historical drama, Harriet. Does it count for diversity that Antonio Banderas was also nominated for his lead role in Pedro Almodovar’s brilliant semi-autobiographical pic Pain and Glory? That’s for social media to decide so you’re on your own there.
Leading the list of this year’s nominated films with ELEVEN nods was…Joker? Well, the title of that film alone says everything you need to know about the times we live in. Close behind were: The Irishman and 1917 and Once Upon A Timein…Hollywood with ten each.
More like a TEN (but really, this did factor in right?)
The aforementioned Ms. Erivo was also one of a handful of recipients to receive two Oscar nominations in two separate categories this year. Her second was as co-writer in the best song category for Harriet’s “Stand Up.” Also double nominated were: Scarlett Johansson as both lead actress and supporting actress for Marriage Story and JoJo Rabbit, respectively; and David Heyman as a producer on two potential best picture winners, Marriage Story AND Once Upon A Time in…Hollywood.
Here is a full list of the nominations along with some (accurate? snide? bitchy?) opinions on those chosen and those left out of the major categories. Let’s save the rest for when the awards are handed out on Feb. 9th. In the meantime, get your Joker masks ready, the next four weeks promise to be….memorable?
My mantra to get through these nominations
FORD V FERRARIPeter Chernin, Jenno Topping and James Mangold, Producers
THE IRISHMANMartin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Producers
JOJO RABBITCarthew Neal and Taika Waititi, Producers
JOKERTodd Phillips, Bradley Cooper and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Producers
LITTLE WOMENAmy Pascal, Producer
MARRIAGE STORYNoah Baumbach and David Heyman, Producers
1917 Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris, Jayne-Ann Tenggren and Callum McDougall, Producers
ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOODDavid Heyman, Shannon McIntosh and Quentin Tarantino, Producers
PARASITEKwak Sin Ae and Bong Joon Ho, Producers
The question is, what DIDN’T get nominated? Pretty much all the films predicted to get a nod in this category managed to squeak through. The possible exception was Knives Out, which nevertheless received what more and more seems to be the consolation prize of a writing nomination, in this case for its director Rian Johnson.
Still gets top honors for best knit!
What else MIGHT have been nominated in this category even though you’d be crazy to expect it? Well, the indie movie The Last Black Man in San Francisco should not have to rely solely on the Independent Spirit Awards to be named among the best films of the year when it is clearly that and more. But don’t get me started on the #OscarsSo……. Again.
THE IRISHMANMartin Scorsese
JOKER Todd Phillips
ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOODQuentin Tarantino
PARASITEBong Joon Ho
Here’s the thing. Greta Gerwig, Little Women, Lulu Wang, The Farewell, Marielle Heller, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Alma Har’el, Honeyboy and Kasi Lemons, Harriet. When you have five women who directed the aforementioned Oscar caliber films and not one gets nominated in this category, well, this is why people begin to talk.
We riot at dawn #burnitdown #justiceforGreta
Though whenever this subject comes up I point to the SOLE FEMALE to WIN best director, Kathryn Bigelow. She got the award for her work on The Hurt Locker, a war movie with a male protagonist. What this tells us, aside from the fact that Bigelow is a great director, is that the subject matter of a movie has as much to do with the gender of a director where the Oscar nominees (and winners) are concerned.
Anyone hungry? #sausagefest
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
ANTONIO BANDERAS Pain and Glory
LEONARDO DiCAPRIO Once upon a Time…in Hollywood
ADAM DRIVER Marriage Story
JOAQUIN PHOENIX Joker
JONATHAN PRYCEThe Two Popes
There are those who might rightly be grousing that the performances of Taron Egerton in Rocketman and Robert DeNiro in The Irishman should have gotten a nod. But truly the best performance of the year NOT in this category was in Uncut Gems. Adam Sandler did the best acting of his career as a Jewish, compulsive gambler jeweler who can’t get out of his own way in an unrelenting and uncomfortably riveting film. Does he deserve the Oscar for it? Yes. Do I care if you disagree? No, cause it’s true.
Get ready for Grown Ups 3 #sigh
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
TOM HANKS A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
ANTHONY HOPKINS The Two Popes
AL PACINO The Irishman
JOE PESCI The Irishman
BRAD PITT Once upon a Time…in Hollywood
Brad Pitt is really the only one who matters here…for so many reasons. Least of which is that Mr. Pitt is the sole person in this category NEVER to have won an acting Oscar.
This category is so 90s, you have to watch all the nominees on VHS
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
CYNTHIA ERIVO Harriet
SCARLETT JOHANSSON Marriage Story
SAOIRSE RONAN Little Women
CHARLIZE THERON Bombshell
RENÉE ZELLWEGER Judy
Yeah, it was between Cynthia Erivo and Awkwafina (The Farewell) for the female of color slot and Cynthia won. Just kidding, sort of, but not…really. However, it won’t matter. Renee Zellweger’s daring recreation of Judy Garland at the end of her life, singing and all, will win and should win.
Although Charlize wins for inspiring the most gasps (and nightmares)
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
KATHY BATES Richard Jewell
LAURA DERN Marriage Story
SCARLETT JOHANSSON Jojo Rabbit
FLORENCE PUGH Little Women
MARGOT ROBBIE Bombshell
Did you really think J Lo would be nominated for doing her Oscar pole dance in Hustlers? Really? No, I mean…really??? Really????????
MAYBE WE DID CHAIRY?!?!
WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
THE IRISHMANScreenplay by Steven Zaillian
JOJO RABBITScreenplay by Taika Waititi
JOKER Written by Todd Phillips & Scott Silver
LITTLE WOMENWritten for the screen by Greta Gerwig
THE TWO POPESWritten by Anthony McCarten
WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
KNIVES OUTWritten by Rian Johnson
MARRIAGE STORYWritten by Noah Baumbach
1917 Written by Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns
ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOODWritten by Quentin Tarantino
PARASITE Screenplay by Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin Won; Story by Bong Joon Ho
You could have read three or four articles predicting the screenplay nominations and scored close to 100% in both of these categories. But for my money, the big omission is Booksmart, a coming of age/last night of high school story chock full of memorable characters in hilariously awkward situations you felt you had both seen and never seen before. So imaginative, heartfelt, funny and extremely difficult to achieve that it took four writers – Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel and Katie Silberman. Of course the fact that they’re four women writing a female driven narrative had NOTHING to do with the snub!
What does the Oscars have against girls and poles?
Not to downgrade the rest, but I got up at 5:15 am for this! So, here they are without comment:
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD
I LOST MY BODY
TOY STORY 4
THE IRISHMANRodrigo Prieto
JOKER Lawrence Sher
THE LIGHTHOUSEJarin Blaschke
1917 Roger Deakins
ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOODRobert Richardson
THE IRISHMANSandy Powell and Christopher Peterson
JOJO RABBIT Mayes C. Rubeo
LITTLE WOMENJacqueline Durran
ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOODArianne Phillips
THE EDGE OF DEMOCRACY
DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)
IN THE ABSENCE
LEARNING TO SKATEBOARD IN A WARZONE (IF YOU’RE A GIRL)
LIFE OVERTAKES ME
ST. LOUIS SUPERMAN
WALK RUN CHA-CHA
FORD V FERRARIMichael McCusker and Andrew Buckland
THE IRISHMANThelma Schoonmaker
JOJO RABBITTom Eagles
JOKER Jeff Groth
INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
HONEYLAND North Macedonia
PAIN AND GLORYSpain
MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
LITTLE WOMENAlexandre Desplat
MARRIAGE STORYRandy Newman
1917 Thomas Newman
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKERJohn Williams
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
I CAN’T LET YOU THROW YOURSELF AWAYfrom Toy Story 4; Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
(I’M GONNA) LOVE ME AGAINfrom Rocketman; Music by Elton John; Lyric by Bernie Taupin
I’M STANDING WITH YOUfrom Breakthrough; Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
INTO THE UNKNOWNfrom Frozen II; Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
STAND UPfrom Harriet; Music and Lyric by Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo